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Sheath Making

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The pouch sheath is made from 4 pieces of leather. It is a very neat, practical design. Its strong and provides excellent protection.

The knife is placed on the pouch edge up and the positions of the thickest part of the point and the handle are marked out.

The knife is rolled over on its side and the outline of the edge is marked. The leather for the belt loop is cut and its top and bottom edge are skived with a knife. The edge of the pouch itself is also skived.

The belt loop is stitched on. Those two wee rectangles are the loop stitching as seen from the back. If you have not stitched harness leather before, be warned!, You must pull on the flax hard and if you don't wear gloves your hands will be raw for a day or so after. I do not wear gloves myself, as with gloved hands I tend to pull too hard and break the thread.
The edges of the leather are skived and the spacer is glued in place with contact cement and gentle persuasion. The spacer should have a slight lengthwise taper to help compensate for the varying thickness of the knife. Positioning of the spacer is critical to the fit of the knife and it should lie parallel to the mark representing the edge. Remember to allow some slack to compensate for the thickness of the leather. Fold the sheath over the knife to check for fit and positioning of the spacer. The closer to the mark the tighter the sheath. The spacer strip can be bent in or out, to conform to the shape of the knife and allow for the extra thickness of the grip.

The sheath is folded over the knife. No attempt is made to align the edges of the leather, rather the objective is to acquire a good fit of the knife inside the sheath. The seam is glued closed and the edges are trimmed up after the glue dries.

Hole positions are marked carefully along a smoothly curved line with a star wheel or rule and holes are punched

Always start at the end of the sheath. Stitching is doubled for the first three or four holes.

then the stitchline is carried back up the sheath until the swelling represented by the grip is reached, where

if necessary a wedge of leather is inserted in the seam to allow for the extra thickness

The end of the stitch line is also double stitched by backtracking a few holes. It is not necessary to tie a knot on the outside, as double stitching is secure enough and a knot is unsightly. Simply twist and cut the ends.
The knife is coated in Vaseline and wrapped in Saran wrap as a barrier against moisture. The sheath is soaked in water for an hour, the knife pushed inside and the leather molded to shape.
Allow to dry for a few days, removing the blade periodically to check the fit and ensure it is dry.
Finally trim and smooth the seam edge and apply the dye of your choice.


 

 

Sheath Making
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